Did you know our city has two Rails-to-Trails Conservancy trails?
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is “a nonprofit Washington, D.C.-organization whose mission it is to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.” Two of the trails in the Rails-to-Trails network are right here in the city – one relatively short for those wanting a quick workout, and one nearly 9 miles longer for those with a little more ambition.
This trail is one that once was an active rail but now “abandoned” (no longer part of a route) and repurposed as a trail; the tracks have been removed and the walking surface paved. This one-mile trail is adjacent to Sunset Lake Park just south of Portland, just across the bay from Corpus Christi.
Sunset Lake Park is a beautiful part of the trail and extends into wetlands that are full of wildlife. Visitors have plenty of access to the water and to the facilities (drinking water, restrooms and picnic facilities), which makes it convenient if spending the whole day there.
Texas Trails Network rates the trail as “easy” and doable for those at all fitness levels, making it ideal for getting the whole family active.
This is a great trail to take a walk, bike, run or skate, especially if you want to stop at one or more attractions along the way. This trail is idea for area newcomers or visitors, because along its nearly nine miles you’ll pass the Art Museum of South Texas, the Corpus Christi Marina, the seawall (which is great for fishing), the Museum of Science & History and other sites worth seeing. The trail starts at the American Bank Center Arena and ends near Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
But the trail isn’t all about its brick and mortar sites. You’ll also get a chance to stop and rest in one of the parks dotting Corpus Christi Bay, including Cole, Ropes, Doddridge, Swantner, Palmetto, and Poenisch parks. The parks make walking the trail convenient, too, because you have access to the parks’ restrooms, water and benches – it’s a long trail and you’ll appreciate the opportunity to sit. It also makes the trail the ideal spot for people watching, enjoying an outdoor lunch and swimming.
Unlike some trails in the area, this one also serves as a sidewalk in spots, and you’ll also need to be aware of bikes. Most riders will alert you to their presence (‘on the left!” or “behind you!”) but it’s smart to stay to the right on the trail.
Let us know if you’ve tried either trail – or any others in the city – and what you liked about them – we’re always happy to share great ideas for free-time activities with our residents!